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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Commentary From the Edge - Week 8
Kevin Ratterree
October 25, 2005

I'm not going to be overly dramatic about it, but the Chiefs / Dolphins fiasco really torched my donkey.  While I do not live in the immediate Kansas City area, I am a long time Chiefs fan and I do not remember the last time I missed a regular season Chiefs game.  Hey, that's on you NFL.  Live with that awhile.  Burn.

Even more tragically the rescheduling of the game from Sunday to Friday night had even more serious consequences than being reduced to listening to the Chiefs radio broadcast.  That 4 team teaser was reduced to a 3 team teaser.  And the only person teased was me after the man hung a "no action" on the Chiefs game.  The other 3 games hit.  Now that is tragic.  It's a good thing they were looking out for me or I could have got hurt on a Chiefs +9.  Burn.

This week I started Ricky Williams instead of Larry Johnson.  Burn.

I'm pretty sure I'm off Ricky for awhile.

I shamefully admit that I did watch Sunday Countdown this week.  But a strange thing occurred.  I encountered an actual moment of genuine entertainment.  Mike Ditka, who had been doing his segment with Michael Irvin, and I would assume after several bruised arms from Irvins squeezing and a few face washes in the process, switched to the more reasonable, and relatively calm Tom Jackson.  Ditka, while previewing his segment told Irvin, "You just sit over there and stew in it, and think about why I didn't let you come over here!" 

Then more genuine entertainment later in the show when Michael Irvin interviewed Keyshawn in the meeting of the mouths.  Irvin had made the comment that the Cowboys did not have a number one receiver, they had a bunch of number two's.  Key didn't care for that and wanted a chance to confront Irvin.  I must admit it was good stuff.  Both calling each out on their respective lines of bull.  And then the kicker, Key actually left Mighty Mouth speechless when he correctly pointed out that Irvin never had to block back in his day with the Cowboys, and questioned whether Irvin could even play football for Bill Parcells.  That was good stuff.  Down Goes Frazia!!!   

Ditka and Key getting rough with Irvin.  Now THAT is a lot closer to the kind of stuff I want to see.  Keep it coming.

When Tim McGraw's weekly halftime highlights came on during Monday Night Football, I found myself to be immediately drawn to the remote control to give some quality cume numbers to the local religious station for a few minutes.  It was a peaceful moment even if equally as banal.  Then I turned back just in time to catch Jimmy Kimmel's minute featuring LT1 calling out LT2 for his moniker rights.  That was kind of amusing.  Okay LT. After LT2's putrid performance this week, you can have your initials back for the next 5 days.  Then after Ladanian Tomlinson goes off on the Chiefs this Sunday, he's LT again. 

Then, there was the rap music segment.  Monday Night Football is a roller coaster of emotions.  Happiness and sadness. 60 minutes of football.  120 minutes of a television executives crapola absorbed by my poor cranial region, already a television soaked wasteland.  Monday Night Football, and mark my words, is as good as it will ever be in the future.  The addition of Joe Theisman alone insures at least a couple of years of the lowest point in Monday Night Football's history, and quite possibly the end of civilization as we know it.

I'm the kiss of death to football players on a roll.  This week I was put in a position of starting Drew Bledsoe and Chris Brown for starters on a bye.  My opponent had Tomlinson but even his ineptitude could not overcome the curse I put on my bench players.   Damn I love this game! 

FYI:  This week I will be starting the suddenly productive but apparently doomed Heath Miller in place of Alge Crumpler.  Adjust your lineups accordingly.

Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week:   After years of fighting the football God's, I have finally found a way to appease the cruel deity's.  This feels good.  This feels right.  The mighty football God's will let me be wrong every week, publicly humiliated, yet it should be obvious to all but the most dense of you by now that there is a method to my madness.  A perfect 0-3 for the Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week, and I have a feeling I am just getting warmed up.  See, they system CAN be beat.  The football God's are a lot like your wife.  You just have to always let them think they are right, and all is well.  Next Monday night is Halloween.  This puts me in quite a conundrum.  I like to watch Monday Night Football in my living room, but there will be trick or treater's coming and going.  By watching the game between the Steelers and the Ravens I risk having these innocent kids see the Ravens on the football field, which may forever distort their view of what actual football is. The Steelers just put a beat-down on one of the best teams in the league.  The Ravens come off  losses to two teams from the worst division in all of football.  Ed is out.  Now Ray is out.  And Jamal Lewis bounces off the paper barrier the players meet as they are introduced to the home crowd.  He won't have that problem this week though, because the game is being played in Pittsburgh.  Monday night.  At home against the Ravens.  The crowd?  Absolutely insane on Halloween night in front of a national audience..  The spread is 9 1/2.  The Crazy as Hell pick of the week is a stone cold lock again.  My prediction of course, is Ravens +9 1/2.  Enjoy your winnings and do not feel obligated to cut me in.

MISERY INDEX

10) Vikings:  Okay, so you won a game.  Great.  You have a pulse.  The latest funny from the Vikings was the owner (after the Love Boat fiasco) publicly whining about the fact that he bought a team that was structurally flawed.  It always amazes me how people with enough jack to buy a football team sometimes don't understand some of the most basic principles of commerce.  Buying a sports franchise is like buying a used car.  You know how when you are getting ready to trade your car in for another, maybe you let the maintenance slip a bit.  Oil turning black   Tires getting thin.  Shocks a little bouncy.  A few dings here and there.  Maybe the interior isn't so nice anymore.  Hell, if the car was still nice I wouldn't be selling it to you.  Zigy's comments were a pathetic cop-out.  Most people don't get rich by being stupid, or having the wool pulled over their eyes.  But at least Vikings fans can take solace in the fact that the new owner has at least identified the problem.  Now let's see what he will do about it.

9) Rams:  The Rams ran into the perfect cure for a losing streak in the Saints.  But all is not well.  With Bulger, Holt and Bruce injured the Rams are now running on fumes.  Rams fans are praying that Bulger makes a speedy recovery, because Jamie Martin looks like a guy that was really happy holding the clipboard and listening to the headset.  The look on his face when he hits the field tells you that.  And the way he locks in on one receiver (he never looks at a second) he is a disaster in the making.  This weeks home game against the Jaguars (coming off a bye) could be real ugly. 

8) Cowboys:  Just when we were about to anoint the Cowboys as the second coming, disaster.  The 'boys are making a habit of losing in ways that make their fans want to spew like an oil well the minute after you sell your shares in the drilling company .  Bledsoe's interception with 12 seconds left on the clock of a tied game was a serious candidate for the bonehead play of the year in the NFL.  Parcells found that beating one of his coaches while on camera, while quite entertaining is not all that endearing.  Except to Bobby Knight I suppose.

7) Titans:  Steve McNair and Chris Brown fall down go boom.  Bye week filler for me.  But season killer for Tennessee. 

6) Ravens:  While many thought that Kyle Boller was inadequate as a quarterback, it is now clear that he is indeed the best QB on his team.  Now how sad is that?  Brian Billick has gone from "offensive genius" to just plain offensive.  Trent Dilfer is the best quarterback the Ravens have fielded since Billick came to town, and they flushed him away like a piece of used toilet paper.  Brian Billick may be finding that the smug routine just doesn't play so well when you are a pathetic loser between the lines.   

5) Bills:  Maybe the Bills got caught looking forward to this weeks showdown with New England.  Kelly Holcomb, who has been an improvement over the dreadful Losman has introduced his starting receivers to the big painted area at the ends of the field.  However, playing against an injury depleted secondary that sucked even when healthy, Holcomb bit the big one.  Next week's game is pivotal for the Bills.  They can assume control of the division with a win.  But another loss propels them back to the dead zone that has become the AFC East.

4) Saints:  The Saints appeared to get jobbed in the closing minutes against the Rams.  Of course for the Saints, pulling defeat from the jaws of victory has become as common place as a crowd forming wherever free liquor is served. 

3) Packers:  When you are up 17-0 at halftime, against a team that typically scores 6 points a game, you really have to like your chances.  Unless you are the Packers.  I said it last week.  This game was for all the marbles.  A trip to the basement of the worst division in football for the Pack.  The really bad news is that they have just completed the easy part of their schedule.  I smell Limburger cheese here.  Limburger cheese that has been fermented in a chicken coup.  Across the street from a turkey farm.  And rendering plant.  In July.

2) 49ers:  This could be an idiotic statement, but that won't be a first for me.  I really think the 'Niners may be the 3rd best football team in the state of California.  Maybe 4th.  Tough call.

1) Texans:  Despite the efforts of Packers and the 'Niners, the Texans remain entrenched at the "top" of the Misery Index.  This is shaping up to be an epic battle among the NFL's elite bad teams.  We have our players.  My money is on the frontrunner.  This week will be the Texans biggest challenge to their reign.  The Cleveland Browns are coming to town.  If they can get past this one though, they will have a real shot at NFL immortality.  The winless season.  Of course, even if they make it all the way to week 17 they still have to lose the 49ers to take the crown.  I've got that game marked on my schedule.  You gotta believe!